Ch­ery ripe for growth

With Korean cars go­ing up­mar­ket, Chi­nese cheap­ies are on the way

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

an­other six con­tenders and be­lieves they are ne­go­ti­at­ing with local im­porters.

‘‘ The Chi­nese em­bassy has con­tacted us about find­ing local part­ners for six car com­pa­nies,’’ a source at the Fed­eral Cham­ber of Au­to­mo­tive In­dus­tries re­veals to Carsguide.

‘‘ We are try­ing to help. They seem pretty keen.’’

The im­porter with the strong­est Chi­nese ties, Ateco Au­to­mo­tive, al­ready has Ch­ery and Great Wall on its books. Com­pany chief Neville Crich­ton ad­mits he is look­ing to spread his in­flu­ence.

Ateco has re­cently lost the local agency for Alfa Romeo and Fiat, which were re­claimed by their own­ers at Fiat Chrysler Group. Ateco has pre­vi­ously im­ported Suzuki and Kia but the re­spec­tive head of­fices now han­dle the dis­tri­bu­tion.

Crich­ton will not dis­cuss his tar­gets but a team from Ateco was among Aus­tralian groups in China re­cently for the Bei­jing mo­tor show.

There are seven Great Wall mod­els in Aus­tralia but none are pas­sen­ger cars (for now at least) while Ch­ery has three. The J11 SUV sells best with 374 de­liv­er­ies to the end of May.

The Geely im­porter, John Hughes in Perth, is re­group­ing be­fore a stronger push with a big­ger range of the com­pany’s lat­est mod­els in 2013.

Two other brands, JAC and Maxus, are be­ing han­dled by the im­port com­pany WMC, which be­gan with Higer buses.

JAC is be­gin­ning its Aus­tralian push with small trucks, plan­ning to fol­low with vans and a ute in 2013, with pas­sen­ger cars most likely in late 2014. Maxus, which is part of the gi­ant Shanghai Au­to­mo­tive group that in­cludes MG, is start­ing with vans but has per­haps the great­est po­ten­tial of all once it commits to a local pro­gram with its Chi­nese cars.

Blos­som­ing: There is likely to be an in­flux of Ch­ery hatches in show­rooms in Aus­tralia

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.